It was just a regular day at school; at least I thought it was. A fresh new set of rumors just started circulating, and one was not so good for me. Someone had seen Noah, and I hanging out at the mall and had started the rumor we were a thing.
Bryce and Chance were trying to calm me down in private. “Dude, it's not that bad. All, you have to say to people, is your really good friends. It'll be fine.”
I shook my head, “Bryce, Noah is going to use this as a good reason to just come out! I can't, it's too risky right now.”
Chance raised an eyebrow, “And what about when you told me?”
“I was scared half to death. This time it's like I'm scared to death and back, and finally to death again.” Yes, the idea of everyone knowing I'm gay is that scary. Chance got up grabbing my arm and pulling me along with him. “Where are we going?”
“Your mom's office! She'll be able to help you out more.” We passed by a bunch of people along our way. It felt like everyone was staring at me. I pulled my arm out of Chance's grip and continued to follow him.
There was a kid in mom's office when we got there. “Okay Markus, try not to play too rough next time okay?” Mom looked over at us, “Aidyn, what brings you to my office?”
Chance spoke for me, “We'd like to talk in private...” He eyeballed the Markus kid.
“I get it; I'll be going. Thanks, Mrs. Scott!” And he was on his way.
“Okay, I've heard the rumors that have been going around. How are you holding up?”
Chance rolled his eyes, “Terrible. It's scaring him to death twice apparently.”
I bit my lip. “I just have this gut feeling everything will end up wrong in the end. I don't want that to happen.” I mean who does? Who wants to destroy their lives by doing one event!
Mom sat me down on the medical table. She found a seat on a stool. “Listen okay?” I nodded. “I want you to follow just a few rules when it comes to hard conversations like this one. First: Be Authentic. Be yourself. If you want someone to be real with you, they need to know you bleed too.
“Second: Be Direct. Just rip the band-aid off. If you know you're gay, say it. I didn't hear from you 'I might be gay' because you know you are. That 'might' is an opening to the option of your not. Don't leave that door open.
“Thirdly: Be Unapologetic. That is what is most important. I don't want to hear I'm sorry about anything that makes you, you. Other than the lazy part.” That made me smile a bit. “Some people might get hurt along the way. Apologize for what you've done, or lack-there-off, but never for whom you are. Do you understand me?”
“I got it mom... Thanks.”
“There will be people disappointed, but that is on them. You have done nothing wrong and should not feel bad because you have a heart of gold. It might look like a huge leap, but you have many people there to catch you. One of them is Noah, and you know it.” Mom was right about all of it. I still don't know what to do still.
Aaron came up to me as I came out of the first class. “You've heard it right?”
I shook my head, “No? What should I have heard?”
Aaron sighed, “Come with me.” She marched off towards a set of stairs that no one uses. “There are rumors about you and Aidyn. It's circulating that you're together.”
“How did that start?” How is Aidyn taking this? He must be freaking out. I hope he's okay. “Have you seen Aidyn?”
“I don't know who started it and last time I saw Aidyn he was with Bryce and Chance.” Okay, he's with his friends it can't be too bad. “What are we going to do about this?”
I shook my head, “I don't know... Do you have any ideas?” She shrugged her shoulders. “I got to go find Aidyn.” I shot off down the halls ignoring everyone I saw.
I looked all around the school for him. The gym, library, and every single hallway. Nothing. It was exhausting. “You look tired.” Markus seemingly came out of nowhere. “What are you doing?”
Panting I smiled, “Looking for Aidyn, have you seen him?”
“Ya nurses office, he wanted to talk to her privately with Chance.” I had to laugh. Markus must be one of the few people in school that doesn't know Mrs. Scott is Aidyn and Sky's mom.
“Mrs. Scott is Aidyn's mom, Markus.”
The realization hit his face like a brick. “That would make perfect sense now wouldn't it...”
I couldn't help but giggle, “Thanks, Markus!” I booked it towards the nurse's office. As soon as I got there I opened to door, and there they were; Aidyn, Chance and Mrs. Scott around the room. “Am I interrupting something?”
Mrs. Scott shook her head, “Nope, we were just finishing up. I should hand in the reports for this morning's first aid. Can you two keep an eye on the place?”
Chance got the hint Mrs. Scott was making. “I got to go study, big test next block. I'll see you guys later.”
And just like that Aidyn and I were alone. Neither one of us really knew how to start the conversation we needed to have. Aidyn was sitting on the first aid bed thing; I took a seat in his mom's stool.
“I guess you've heard that there are rumors about us...” Aidyn started the conversation. I nodded as a reply. “I don't know what to do about it.”
“You could always come out...” I tried to say that in a way that didn't sound like I wanted him to.
“Noah, I don't know. It scares the shit out of me. I don't think I can right now.” Aidyn's eyes looked like they were watery.
I've been with Aidyn for a few months now, and I can tell what's going through his head. He really wanted to come out, so badly and just for me. Aidyn was also scared for his life for what the result would be, and I can't blame him for that.
“Aidyn, it's already circulating. Now would be the perfect time to say it and have it go completely under the radar.” Aidyn shook his head. He was trying to reason with himself in there.
He groaned, “I just... I don't know!” Aidyn began rubbing his temples.
What could I say to convince him? “What if the world does come to an end? What can you say you've done?” I could see the gears turn in his head. He was deep in thought.
“Noah I just... I don't know. If it does end I, don't want to go out like this stressing out because of this.”
“So let's go out into the hallway and be happy together.”
That set the gears back a few steps. “No, no, no, no, no. I'm not coming out today Noah.”
He shook his head furiously, “I can hardly think straight right now Noah. If I were to go out there and come out... I don't know man.”
I stood up, “When then? When would you come out?” He shook his head and shrugged. “That's it? You don't know do you?”
“No, I really don't.”
I kind of went off the deep end. “Exactly! You don't know when you're going to come out. How can we go out on proper dates or hang out in public like we are together? We can't Aidyn, not with your fear!”
Aidyn stood up too. “I can't help it Noah. I can't just step out there into those halls and yell 'One of your grade ten star athletes is gay' and expect everything to be the same. I'm going to lose things Noah!”
“I lost stuff too Aidyn! I lost my brother, my mother, my father. I know what it feels like to lose things that are important to you. I also know that through loss you gain things you don't see before that.
“You gain all sorts of strengths you never knew you had. You gain friends that truly care. Yes you always feel the pain of those losses every day but YOU make it all worth it!” I had tears flowing down my cheeks as I finished.
I felt Aidyn's arms wrap around me and pull me close to him. He rubbed my back as I cried into him. I felt him kiss my forehead. “Noah, I'm sorry.”
I settled down and looked up at Aidyn. “Just answer one question okay?” He nodded, “When are you going to come out?”
He was speechless. Aidyn couldn't mutter a single word. You could see he wanted to, but he couldn't get anything out. “Noah, listen...”
I shook my head, “Aidyn no! Answer me.”
I felt his arms drop from around me. “I can't...”
“Then...” The hardest thing, I have ever done in my life, was open my brother's diary... this is a close second. “...we're done.” I turned and walked out of the room. I did my best to hold back the tears, but they just flowed. I ended up in a bathroom stall crying through the entire next block of class.
Aidyn and I are done... we're not together... I did this. I need to stand by it. I need to stand by it. I need to stand by it.
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